In an effort to tackle the organ donor shortage, researchers in the United States have successfully created part-human, part-pig embryos and implanted them into a sow. Eventually, these animals could act as incubators for human organs, which concerns some ethicists.
Using genetic techniques and a chemical cocktail, scientists managed to sustain a pig’s heart inside a baboon for 945 days, establishing a new benchmark for cross-species transplantation. If extended to humans, the technique could be used to ease the ongoing organ shortage.
In news that sounds straight out of a dystopian Margaret Atwood novel, surgeons managed to keep a genetically modified pig heart alive inside a baboon for 945 days before it failed last month. “Xenotransplantation” experiments like this may one day lead to doctors raising pigs for organ transplants.
Biologists have been mixing the DNA of different animals since the 1970s, but the idea of injecting the genes of animals into humans remains taboo. Called transgenics, it's a practice that could cure illness in the future — and eventually reshape our species. Here's what you need to know about it.
The hearts of genetically modified pigs could soon be transplanted into humans. A research team, who tweaked the DNA of pigs to make the organ more compatible to humans, grafted a pig heart into a baboon more than a year ago — and it's still doing fine.
Two scientists at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh discussed the state of xenotransplantation—the use of cells, organs, or tissue from one animal in another—in a review in The Lancet. In that review, they touch on the history of one particular subject: pig-to-human…